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It’s a privilege to welcome Suzanne McKechnie Klahr to Ms. McKechnie Klahr is the Founder of, an Ashoka Fellow, and to my knowledge, the first person to ever teach a social entrepreneurship course at any law school (Stanford Law). She currently is a Lecturer at Law on Social Entrepreneurship at both Stanford Law School and Harvard Law School, and has served as both a role model and a mentor to me. We are lucky to have her wisdom and insight.

Suzanne McKechnie Klahr is the CEO and Founder of BUILD, a four-year entrepreneurship-focused college preparation program whose mission is to provide real-world entrepreneurial experience that empowers youth from under-resourced communities to excel in education, lead in their communities, and succeed professionally. By helping students develop and run their own small businesses, BUILD supplements traditional school with real-world business experiences and critical skill-building for the future. BUILD currently operates two San Francisco Bay Area sites, one site in Washington, DC, and has plans for national expansion. BUILD maintains an incredible track record with 100 percent of its seniors having applied to and gone onto college. For her accomplishments with BUILD, Suzanne has received numerous awards and been asked to speak nationally on such topics as education, social entrepreneurship, venture philanthropy, new models of providing legal services to the poor, and poverty alleviation strategies. In 2006 she was inducted as a lifetime member of Ashoka, a global fellowship of leading social entrepreneurs. In 2007, she was honored by CBS’s Jefferson Award on television, on radio, and in print. In 2008, Suzanne was elected to the San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame and in 2009, she was named as one of Silicon Valley’s Most Influential Women by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Times. She earned a dual degree from Brown University and a JD from Stanford Law School, and she has successfully completed the Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program in Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management.

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